Monday, August 29, 2016

Hello! Summer

by Lin Hsin-Chen
NASA announced that our Earth had just survived from the warmest July in 136 years. This summer, we experienced disasters due to global warming. Mankind is not the only species suffered. I would like to comfort summer. This is not the weather it wanted. What is the problem at all?

There were several ecological disasters in Taiwan in July, 2016. Even the timing of flowering was in turmoil! I always don’t like summer. I love winter. You have nowhere to escape from the scorching weather. Using air-conditioning is very energy-consuming and also a waste of natural resources. On the contrary, we can just simply wear more clothes in winter for the cold weather. The energy consumption is significantly different from each other. I let the flowers in my work wear chiffon, just like wearing a bikini, it is translucent, cool, unfettered, self-liberated and relaxed. Feel the passion, enjoy the summer heat wave and learn to coexist with the extreme weather.

The 9 works of Cycle 3 is my Thinking series, which is presented with 9 types of flowers. They depict the relevant people, things and environments when I was creating them, through the slow and deliberate work of hand sewing, combining time and space with patience. I feel, experience and record ideas when inspiration occurs and sew the ideas in my needlework. Through the 9 works in the long 18 months, I encounter my true self. It is the process of inner learning! Maybe there are people questioning what my thinking is. Together the 9 quilts is a diary documenting the perfection and imperfection within the 18 months. I very much enjoy the project and happy for myself that I didn’t give up due to obstacles along the way, but keep working to the end! Thank you to each member of Viewpoints 9, you keep me learning and growing!

Materials: chiffon, cotton, dyed fabric, sequin, beads, lace flower, Romanian thread, embroidery floss, metallic thread
Techniques: hand appliqué, hand pieced, hand quilted, hand embroidered
Size: 80 x 80 (cm)

Sunday, August 28, 2016


The past four and a half years with Viewpoints 9 has been quite a journey! I can’t believe it’s the end of the third cycle already. This group has helped me to grow and to push my limits in my art, in my thinking and in what I demand from myself. Thank you all!

For this challenge and my theme of water, I used rusted fabric to make an old map I call “The Journeys of Sir Richard” (30.5” H x 40.25” W). 

I wanted to stretch myself to not only use my undesirables, but also use elements of all of the challenges this cycle. Here’s what I did:

  • Challenge 1 – Use thread in a new way for you – Well, I finally did some hand stitching! Sir Richard’s island forays are stitched by hand. Note to self: budget more time when doing hand work.
  • Challenge 2 – Neon – I used neon blue paint for the water.
  • Challenge 3 – Unconventional fabric – I tore and cut a piece of leather and burned lettering into it for the “sign plate”. In addition to the leather, the rusted fabric includes linen and canvas, two unusual fabrics for me.
  • Challenge 4 – Tradition – The quilt is made with traditional block piecing.
  • Challenge 5 – Dimension – (Hopefully) I created depth in the water with the use of color and contour. 
  • Challenge 6 – Natural Dyes – I used rusted fabric pieced together in 2.5” squares.
  • Challenge 7 – Monochromatic – Does brown qualify as black? I only used blue paint and the natural rust/black color of the fabric.
  • Challenge 8 – Text – Areas of the map are named and the entire map is labeled with text.
  • Challenge 9 – Undesirables – My rusted fabric counts for two of the challenges! I may have to rethink the undesirable part.

Bark Impressions

Bark Impressions
19.5"w x 30.5"long [49.5cm x 77cm]

It was great fun to revisit the crystal organza fabrics I had in the stash and use them to create the bark Impressions quilt. Many of the eucalypt trees in my suburban neighbourhood in Brisbane have interesting bark patterns, from which I took inspiration. A bit of paint to pattern the organza made the whole much more interesting as well as the interplay of shadowing when the sheer fabric was overlapped. A few fanciful bugs/insects were added to inhabit the bark.

Materials: synthetic organza, batting, cotton backing, yarn, thread, fusible web, fabric paint
Techniques: fusing, machine quilting, hand stitching, fabric manipulation, hand printed

Busy Bees Village

As I said before, everything I found in my cupboards is desirable - it's just that I haven't got round to use it!  So I call this my "unused desirables" piece. 

I have been collecting commercial batiks for years.  I find them pretty and at times irresistible - so I buy them occasionally, with the idea that I will one day find a use for them.

I decided to use them to make a map. When I teach classes on map-making, I find my students often bring commercial fabrics to work with.  So I have often thought I should make a map using commercial fabrics myself, as a class sample. This was my opportunity.  (I can always show a photograph, if the quilt is away travelling).

It's an English village among fields, with a river at the bottom.  I added one or two other old fabrics. I used my usual freehand piecing technique for most of the quilt.

It was important to find a contrasting fabric for the roads. The dark fabric I originally planned on did not show up well. So I eventually bought a new, very light, batik fabric, at the Festival of Quilts - it has a much more interesting effect.

I also fused-appliqué a bridge crossing the river. 

The striped fabric comes from a small stash of fabrics I bought in my first trip to the USA in 1993, intending to use them to make doll's clothes (and I did - in the times when I was a toymaker).  I have recently used some of them for my tribute to Yvonne Porcella quilt, and have rediscovered the pleasure of using stripes and checks, and black and white.

However I am not sure I will use the batiks again, certainly not all together - maybe as details, among other fabrics.  I find the result too busy - I am so used to working with hand-dyed, almost solid fabrics.  So I called my map Busy Bees Village.

Size 30" high by 25" wide.

Saturday, August 27, 2016



For the re-use, repurpose, recycle challenge I went back about 10 years.  I was commissioned to create a quilt using several bags full of Hermés neckties.


The finished work, a full size bed quilt which I called "Nautilus" utilized all or part of every tie that was given to me. When it was done, the client was happy and really had no use of the leftover silks from all the ties I cut apart. They were so beautiful and so lovely to touch, I couldn't bear to part with them so I just set them aside for another day.

That day took a while to arrive, but I finally found a use for the left overs!
Using the last challenge as my inspiration, I began piecing together remnants of silk ties to form a curled up caterpillar. The spiral shape of the caterpillar seemed like a wonderful companion for the Nautilus, and a fitting image for transforming leftover materials into something different and new.

I used leftover black cotton fabric, which was the extra width cut from the backs of other quilts, to create the stripes and legs of the caterpillar. Finally I added texture and a few hints of details using free-motion quilting.

Technical details: silk and cotton fabrics, polyester and rayon threads
raw edge appliqué, free motion quilting

African Water Lilies

African Water Lilies 18"x30"
Lisa-Marie's challenge caught me flat-footed.  I had NO idea what to do.  Discarded?  Undesirables? hmmm.  Recycle and repurpose! Yes!

I have a large studio that is FILLED with 'stuff'....mostly fiber related, piles of textiles, paints, books, collections, etc.  No one in my household ever visits...unless invited...therefore I have little impetus to be my temptation is to save everything. 

Starting at the obvious point:  the bottom of all those piles.  I found some bits that really tweaked my interest.

First:  parts of a hand-dyed/stenciled cotton shirt that I had purchased at an outdoor market several years ago in Ghana.

Second:  eight bits from a vintage linen tablecloth that had already been cut in flower shapes with fusing on the back.  I think they originally were to be daisies.

Third:  seven red seeds (also from Ghana) that look like ladybugs to me.

Lastly:  beaded flower centers, and several sizes of vintage abalone buttons.

Thank you, Lisa-Marie!!!

All-Day Sucker

All-Day Sucker ©2016, 28" x 31"
Thank you to Lisa-Marie, for the perfect way to wrap up the 3rd cycle of Viewpoints 9 - - using the undesirables in our supply closet/stash. For me, that meant revisiting a very large collection of synthetic organza and bits of discarded sheers and experiments. As summer winds down and V9 winds up (until cycle 4 begins on September 1st), it was an opportunity for a last hoorah, a bit of play and mindless wandering. Interestingly, the name came to me almost before anything else - - which you can interpret as you wish. I was thinking of the giant lollipops from when I was young, as big as your head and so pretty and colorful and enticing. And I had all of this brightly colored plastic to work with!

All-Day Sucker, back lit
All-Day Sucker is assembled from synthetic organza that has been starched, cut into 4.5" squares and made into two layers. The layers are 8 rows of alternating 1) all neutrals and 2) random-colored pieces with the hope of creating different value. Sometimes it was more successful than others :) The 3 circle pieces were sometimes between the layer and sometimes on top, to create more value....but synthetic organza really has a mind of its own.

All-Day Sucker, back lit, detail
 I love these things back-lit! This was a great way to wrap up this cycle - I think it has probably been my favorite thus far. I'm excited that we will be having another premiere in Houston at Market and Festival this November and that we have 5 venues in Australia starting this November, also! Onward and upward to more exciting things. After the Undesirable Gallery, we will permanently move to our new home at: It's all ready to go when we begin the new cycle next week. Look forward to seeing you there!
All-Day Sucker, detail

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Undesirables

I’ve never met an artist without a stash. This trend of collecting transcends art and extends to all passions. I have spoken to friends in all arenas: fishermen who have their special stash of lures, triathletes with their stash of equipment, surfers with their “quiver” of boards.

As a novice art quilter I was thrilled by all the things I saw. As my eyes opened to new techniques, my stash of “tools” expanded. I confess, at the beginning I was more of an acquirer than an artist, but the fire of technique is born of the flame of passion. And so my passion for all things quilting led me onward.

Unfortunately, and inevitably, the process of collecting favors some items and leaves others behind: the undesirables. For art quilters it may be a fabric or tool or component or technique. Something that seemed perfect in the moment but not so perfect later. It may have been tried and discarded or never used at all.

In cleaning my closet recently, I came across many items that caused me to ask “What was I thinking?!!” I had beans – yes, dried beans that someone said made nice beach rocks – and thread waste – yes, discarded thread that someone said would make a nice bird’s nest – and…well, you get the picture.

What are the undesirables in your closet? Fabric? Rubbing plates? Embellishments? I challenge you to dig deep into your early days of learning and acquisition and unearth something you previously cast aside. Use the undesirable to stretch yourself and to create something you’ve not imagined before.

The vertical dimension (height) should be 30”. The width is your choice.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Rummaging through Drawers

by Lin Hsin-Chen

It seems justifiable to rummage through drawers for creating. It is so much fun. Which artist does not have a stash of long forgotten materials in the closet? The long forgotten materials are quite possibly the undesirables. I would like to take this opportunity to challenge myself. It is also a perfect chance for me to clean up my cabinets and put things in order. By doing this, I know what are available for my next work and what shall be discarded. Thank you, Lisa-Marie, for the topic.

I found some synthetic fibers and buttons. They are gorgeous, but being forgotten. It would be wasteful to throw them away. Although I have no idea how I will use them in my work, I would like to give it a try.

I wish you all have a wonderful time creating.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Attack of the killer fuzz-nado

Loved this challenge of Lisa-Marie's to use up items that we had put aside.
Several years ago, I did a series of pieces based on the process of wet felting- I was very interested in the patterns the wooly fibers made during the process- here are some finished works-

Fuzzy Logic



And then I took a class from Ann Vickery Evans, and found out that felting is really really hard!
So, I felt (ha,ha) that I had said what I wanted to say with it, and moved on to other things.
Of course I had accumulated a big bag of gorgeous roving, which I will dip into for this challenge...
stay tuned!

Sunday, August 7, 2016


by Misik Kim

I have participated in public projects since last June as an artist.
This is a part of urban regeneration project.

I must have classes for adult and children, not quilters.
I think it is so interesting to me.

Nowdays  upcycling  is the trend.

"Upcycling is taking an item that is no longer needed or wanted and giving it new life as something that is either useful or creative. This seemingly basic concept has sparked an exciting revolution with this generation.

I have  many materials,  fabrics, threads, and ..........
I try to use thest things for them.
There are already a lot of materials have been donated.
I will try to use them.
It will be new experience for me.